What is Citizen Journalism?

Citizen journalism is media that is not manipulated by the outside news organisations that publish the news such as Fairfax, it is completely raw and unedited. Examples of citizen journalism include the recent influx of youtube videos that cover the recent Wagga Wagga flood. This video was shown in last wednesdays lecture in order to demonstrate that while it is less refined citizen journalism can be just as effective as its more refined and published counterpart.

From this video it is clear that the flooding in this area has reached an extreme level, cars are shown to be flooded and inundated with water. This is the exact same information that you would get from a nightly news report without the words (this video has barely any narration whilst a news report is based more so on the descriptions, which are sometimes over emotionional, than the pictures, maps and videos).

Citizen journalism also has the opportunity to be more accurate than mass media. In the John Mayer clip below the line “When they own the information, they can bend it all they want” shows that governments and relevant authorities can often only release a small snapshot which may lead to audiences forming opinions that may not be entirely accurate.

However on the other side of the argument it could be argued that citizen journalism can also be manipulated by their creators in order to achieve a predetermined outcome. For example whilst we are led to believe the video about is from the most recent floods it could be from any flood, at any time, anywhere in the world.

The public gets the best picture when citizen journalism and mass media work together to create a more informed picture and therefore a more informed public.

See you next time for an in-depth look at how citizen journalism impacted the presentation of the events of 9/11 in the media.

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